NASCAR: Dash4Cash an interesting subplot for today’s Nationwide race

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For four NASCAR Nationwide Series regulars, today’s Sta-Green 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (3:30 p.m. ET, check local listings) will be an opportunity to score a good chunk of change.

Nationwide Series points leader Regan Smith (pictured), veteran Jeremy Clements, and rookies Ryan Sieg and Ryan Reed are up for a $100,000 bonus prize as part of the “Dash4Cash” promotion from series sponsor Nationwide Insurance.

The D4C will take place over the next four events, starting with today’s race and then Chicagoland (July 19), Indianapolis (July 26), and Iowa (Aug. 2).

Smith, Clements, Sieg and Reed all qualified for this first round of the D4C by virtue of their results last weekend at Daytona. Smith finished second in a narrow loss to Kasey Kahne, followed by Sieg in third and Reed in fourth, then Clements in eighth.

The highest finisher of this foursome wins the New Hampshire bonus and automatically qualifies for the next D4C round at Chicagoland.

Additionally, the three highest-finishing NNS regulars not already qualified will also get to race for the Chicagoland bonus. Indianapolis and Iowa will work the same way.

Finally, should one driver win the first three D4C bonuses and then win the Iowa race outright, Nationwide will throw in an additional $600,000 prize – bringing the payout for that driver to a even $1 million.

For today’s race at New Hampshire, Smith and Reed will start 12th and 13th respectively. Sieg is a bit farther back at 20th on the grid, while Clements has the worst starting position of the D4C group at 30th.

Smith and Clements just about have the same finishing average in three NNS starts apiece at New Hampshire (Smith is at 19.3, while Clements is at 19.6), while Sieg and Reed are facing New Hampshire for the first time as NNS competitors.

BREAKING: John Force taken to hospital after Phoenix eliminations crash

Photo courtesy NHRA
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16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force has been taken to a local hospital for evaluation and examination following a wicked crash with fellow Funny Car driver Johnnie Lindberg.

The crash occurred during the quarterfinals of Sunday’s final eliminations in the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix.

Force was headed for a win when the engine on his Peak Chevrolet Camaro blew up just as it crossed the finish line, destroying the body. Lindberg, meanwhile, lost traction about one-third of the way down-track, but then got back into the gas to try and catch Force.

Force appeared to lose control of the body-less car and went across from the left lane he was in to the right-hand lane, where he hit the retaining wall in front of Lindberg.

Lindberg tried to avoid Force, but couldn’t. To make matters worse, the body on Lindberg’s car then came off and Force’s and Lindberg’s cars got tangled up in Lindberg’s parachute, sending both chassis’ into the left retaining wall.

Lindberg emerged from his Funny Car under his own power and was checked at the medical center before heading back to his pit.

Force, meanwhile, was helped out of his mangled wreck by the NHRA Safety Safari and was transported by ambulance to the hospital due to the severity of the impact.

Even though Force will be credited with the round win, he obviously will not be able to continue for the remainder of the eliminations.

To add insult to injury, NHRA officials charged Force with oiling down the racetrack, his third of the season in just the first two races. That will cost him 15 points in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series standings and a fine of $4,000.

Here are several posts from social media, including video of the incident from NHRA:

This is the second time Force has had an engine explode and the body blew off in the last two weeks. He also wrecked during the qualifying Feb. 9 for the season-opening Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California. Here’s the video of that wreck:

MORE: John Force taken to hospital as a precaution after Funny Car motor explodes.

We’ll update Force’s condition when it becomes available.

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